Granite Shoals recall effort pushed to May 2021 election

A proposed recall election for Granite Shoals Mayor Carl Brugger and Councilor Bruce Jones will have to wait until the May 2021 election — if the Citizens’ Rights Group of Granite Shoals gathers enough signatures on petitions. 

“We missed the cutoff (for the November ballot, which was) August 1,” group spokesman Phil Ort said.

The Granite Shoals City Charter requires at least 6.5 percent of registered voters residing in the city sign the petition. That amounts to 162 signatures.

“We are roughly at 162, but we’d like to have more,” Ort said. “(City Hall) will have difficulty with verifying the signatures, so we need more than the required 162.”

A group of residents formed the Citizens’ Rights Group after the council’s unanimous approval of a $37,000-a-year pay raise for City Manager Jeff Looney. With the raise, Looney now makes $162,000, up from $125,000. 

After pushback from residents, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Davant and Place 1 Councilor Ron Munos tried to rescind the raise, but the motion failed 5-2.

The group originally targeted the entire council, but amended the petition to name only Brugger and Jones. Jones is running unopposed on the November ballot, and Brugger terms out of office in May 2021.

Place 4 Councilor Steve Hougen and Place 5 Councilor Libby Edwards were not included because both were appointed to the council in May after others stepped down. Both are on the November ballot with Hougen running unopposed and Edwards facing challenger Shirley Martin.

As Ort is running against Place 6 Councilor Will Skinner on the November ballot, the group decided not to target him either. 

“(A recall election) serves the purpose of sending the sharp message that if they don’t start listening to citizens, we’ll recall more of them,” Ort said. “Recall elections are the last resort for residents. The main purpose is for them to know they are to listen to residents. We missed the (August) deadline, but we are still going to send a strong message that they better start listening to the residents.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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